About Me

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

My books

The first two novels of my trilogy, The Talismans, are not available as e-books at present, but I expect to get them back online shortly. However, I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Cloak of Challiver

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
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Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

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Monday, 3 October 2016

Canberra Con!


I am writing this post in a small dormitory in Canberra, Australia's capital city. Spring can be cold in Canberra, because it's inland and close to the aptly-named Snowy Mountains. I have found a nice cheap place to stay when I'm here - the YHA in Akuna Street, a really good, centrally placed hostelry for people who don't want to cough up several hundred dollars for a night's lodging!

I've had a turnover of room mates these last five nights, and tonight is a bit lonely as I am suddenly the only occupant of this four-bed dorm. I have a son and his family in Canberra, including newcomer Esther, my first great grandchild, but they live a bit too far from the centre of the city for me to stay with them. However, we had a couple of nice get-togethers during my visit. It was actually Esther's arrival that closed the deal, as I'd been um-ing and ah-ing about going to the convention. Overall, however, I'm glad I did.

Sean Williams
Alan Baxter
It was a pleasant, low-key event, with Guests of Honour Alan Baxter (fantasy writer and martial arts expert!) and David Farland (AKA Dave Wolverton when he writes hard SF) from America. South Australian author Sean Williams, one of Australia's best-loved SF writers, was there too, but wearing another persona - that of Master of Ceremonies!

I was lucky enough to be on a panel with Dave Farland toward the end of the four-day program. He's one of those people who can draw on vast experience on many topics, so is an excellent speaker. You can discover more on Dave and his work at http://davidfarland.com/

I sat on five panels, the first of which was called How realistic do you like your fantasy? To me, the essence of the topic is this: Fantasy implies the inclusion of elements that do not, as far as we can assess, exist on this planet. Furthermore, I do not like stories that include pornography or a lot of violence; however, those who have read The Dagger of Dresnia will know that I will include sex scenes if they are necessary to the plot or to bring out certain character traits.
Dave Farland

A second fantasy panel discussed Rhythm and form in fairy tales. Historian Gillian Polack had a lot to contribute on this one and my fellow panelists and I listened in awe to her erudite approach to the topic!

On the second day, another fantasy panel concerned itself with religion and how writers are likely to adapt elements of religions they are familiar with to create new ones for their stories. I think religions in my stories have a basis in High Anglican liturgy with a dash of Wicca for seasoning, and that is probably not unusual, given the typical fantasy author's prolific interests.

On Sunday, Jane Virgo, Val Toh and I discussed Chinese and European  systems of astrology on our one panel for the day. Some of you will know that I made my living as an astrologer for several years, but it was, of course, the European system. I have read a bit on the Chinese system; enough to know that it comes from a base that differs from the one we are used to. However, they can both be valuable tools for personal growth and counselling, and we agreed that, as writers, we would sometimes draw on our knowledge of astrology to help us with character development.
Kelli Takenaka

Finally, we ground to a halt on Monday with 'Writing for pleasure, not publication'. Dave Farland, Kelli Takenaka and I discussed this with the small audience and gradually the topic shifted around to 'Fan fiction', which is surely the best response to the idea that rewards can take many forms. Money is fine, but sometimes just having fun or learning something new about the craft of writing through our own work can be rewarding.

All in all, a nice little con, thanks to the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild. And while I've been writing, a new room mate has arrived!

Back to Perth tomorrow - a six-to-eight hour journey if the connections work as they should!



4 comments:

Sue Bursztynski said...

Sounds like you had a great time! Wish I could have been there, but it clashed with Jewish New Year, and if it hadn't, I would have been back at work yesterday anyway.

I stayed at a Canberra YHA once, can't recall where it was, but pretty sure it wasn't the one you mention, because it wasn't anywhere near a hotel. It was near the Botanical Gardens, which I visited(and accidentally stood on an ants' nest and had to be rescued by the gift shop staff!) My main memory of the dorm was an American lady and her local friend who occupied the bunk opposite mine. They both snored loudly enough to keep me awake - and in time. One would snore, then the other, then the first one, etc. they knew they were snorers, too; next morning, over breakfast, the American said, "And we snore... Don't we?" with a smile and wink at me.

Satima Flavell said...

Nothing worse than a Serious Snorer, Sue! I haven't struck any on this trip but I've stayed in enough backpackers and Youth Hostels to have heard some true professionals on the job.

Yes, Jews in ACT must've been giving thanks for the public holiday! My colleague Gillian Polack was running to and fro to do justice to both events and made what looked like a pretty good job of it from the convention perspective. You might enjoy Gillian's latest book, The Wizardry of Jewish Women. The cover assures us that it contains bushfires, a possessed lemon tree, prophecy, magic, romance, violence, and politics. And, of course, Family.

Sue Bursztynski said...

I gather, from her Livejournal post, that Gillian somehow managed to have a dinner for friends after the con. I have a copy of Wizardry, which I bought at the Melbourne launch. Not far into it, but my mother picked up my copy yesterday, read 15 pages and bookmarked it for next time.

Mostly, I've been lucky with YHAs, but there have been snorers who have been bad enough to drive me out into the corridor till I was tired enough to sleep. Mind you, I can be a snorer too, when I've had a cold and my nose is blocked. I nearly drove away one room mate in tears at a Swancon, but I told her to shake me awake if I did it next night, giving her time to get back to sleep. It worked and she was smiling next morning.

Satima Flavell said...

I've trained myself to sleep sitting up. As long as I do that I don't snore - and neither do I get migraines! However, sleeping upright on a bunk bed, upper or lower, is very difficult to organise because there is no proper headboard to support the enormous number of pillows I need!

I've read the first bit of Gillian's book and am enjoying it immensely. I bought or was given several books at the con - now my enormous TBR pile has seven new members!

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